Donald R. McClarey
Yesterday, upon the stair,
I met a man who wasn’t there
He wasn’t there again today
I wish, I wish he’d go away
From Leon Panetta’s testimony yesterday on Benghazi:
Under questioning from Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Panetta says that President Obama knew “generally” what US military assets were deployed in the region, but did not ask for specifics. He left the strategy, according to Panetta, “up to us,” meaning himself and military leadership. Panetta says that after the initial briefing, which took place at about 5 pm Washington time, he had no further communications at all with President Obama that night. The president never even called to ask how the attack was progressing. No one from the White House ever called later that night, according to Panetta, to inquire about the attack. President Obama went to bed that night not even knowing whether the Americans under assault had survived the attack. Continue reading
My alma mater, the University of Illinois, brought a 58 year old porn star, Annie Sprinkle, to campus to teach students young enough to be her grandkids about orgasms this week. Go here to read the story in the campus newspaper The Daily IIllini, or as generations of U of I students have referred to it, The Daily Illiterate.
It would take a heart of stone and a mind of lead not to laugh at this feeble attempt to shock. Annie Sprinkle, or Ellen F. Steinberg, her birth name, has been doing this schtick since long before most current U of I students were born. Something that was shocking in the Seventies of the last century is completely old hat in the porn drenched Twenty-First century. (The U of I having an abstinence activist speak would truly be a shocking event in our current amoral climate.) So why bring her to the U of I?
Well, and do not laugh, the ostensible reason is diversity, at least accord to this blog entry by Jordan Glaser: Continue reading
Stomach churning . The video above shows General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, today attempting to evade any responsibility for the lack of action that claimed the lives of the two heroic Seals during the Benghazi September 11-12 attack.
“I had, through General Ham,” responded Dempsey, referring to the commander of AFRICOM. “But we never received a request for support from the State Department, which would have allowed us to put forces–”
Hattip to Matt Archbold at Creative Minority Report. General Robert H. Barrow, 27th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, testifies against women in combat in 1991. Every word he said then is equally true today, but now our Generals and Admirals tend not to be war fighters like Barrow, but politicians in uniform.
Barrow was an expert on combat. He dropped out of college in 1942 to enlist in the Marine Corps as a buck private who rose to drill instructor and then went to officers candidates’ school. After he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant he spent much of the War fighting behind Japanese lines in China as a guerilla.
During the Chosin Resevoir Campaign in Korea he and his company took the vital pass at Koto-ri against a larger and heavily fortified Communist Chinese force. For this he earned the Navy Cross, the second highest award for valor in the Marine Corps. Here is his Navy Cross citation:
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Robert H. Barrow (0-23471), Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving as Commanding Officer of Company A, First Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Koto-ri, Korea, on 9 and 10 December 1950. Ordered to seize and occupy the high ground on Hill 1081 dominating the pass below and held by a heavily-fortified, deeply-entrenched enemy of approximately battalion strength controlling all approaches to his company’s objective, Captain Barrow boldly led his company up the ice covered, windswept, razor backed ridge in a blinding snowstorm and, employing artillery, mortars and close air support, launched a well-coordinated attack. With his forward assault platoon suddenly brought under withering automatic weapons, small-arms and mortar fire from commanding ground as they moved along the narrow snow-covered ridge toward a bare mountain top studded with hostile bunkers and foxholes, he fearlessly advanced to the front under blistering shellfire, directing and deploying his men and shouting words of encouragement as they followed him to close with the enemy in furious hand-to-hand combat. Reorganizing his depleted units following the bitter conflict, he spearheaded a daring and skillful enveloping maneuver, striking the enemy by surprise on the right flank and destroying many emplacements as he continued the final drive up the steep slope in the face of heavy automatic weapons and grenade fire to secure the objective with a total loss to the enemy of more than 300 dead and wounded. By his gallant and forceful leadership, great personal valor and fortitude maintained in the face of overwhelming odds, Captain Barrow aided immeasurably in insuring the safe passage of the FIRST Marine Division through this hazardous pass, and his inspiring devotion to duty throughout reflects the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. Continue reading
Continuing on with our examination of the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the first part of which may be read here, we turn to Jefferson Davis and the suspension of habeas corpus in the Confederacy. The Confederate Constitution provided for the suspension of habeas corpus:
Sec. 9 (3) The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
On February 27, 1862 the Confederate Congress vested in Davis the power to suspend Habeas Corpus. On March 1, 1862 Davis used this power, suspending the writ of Habeas Corpus and declaring martial law in a ten-mile radius around the City of Richmond.
Davis would use this power throughout the War, especially in regions where Unionist sentiment was strong, for example in East Tennessee where martial law was imposed and the writ of habeas corpus suspended in 1862. Continue reading
Back in 2009 when the proposed construction of the Ground Zero Mosque was a hot topic I designated Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the guiding force behind the project, the Flim Flam Imam because of his speaking of peace and ecumenicalism in the West while speaking quite another message to his funding sources in the Middle East. If the allegations of a law suit are to be believed, there is another reason now to refer to him as the Flim Flam Imam:
Instead, the controversial imam used some of the cash to provide lavish gifts and getaways to a woman identified as Evelyn Adorno, who shared “a personal relationship with Rauf,” said Deak’s attorney, Jonathan Nelson.
Today is my 56th birthday. I share my birthday with the greatest president of my lifetime: Ronald Reagan. I thought he was a great president at the time, but as the years roll by my admiration for President Reagan only grows. The above video is the famous “ash-heap of history” speech to the British parliament on June 8, 1982. Widely derided by critics at the time, Reagan’s speech was eerily prophetic as the Soviet Union swiftly landed on the ash-head of history. Here is the text of the speech: Continue reading
Last week I wrote a post noting the two hundredth anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I took the opportunity of mentioning that I found Austen boring and noted fairly vituperative criticisms of her by Twain and Emerson. The reaction on this blog was restrained and got sidetracked into a debate about the Reformation in England and Protestantism and Catholicism. So far, so normal.
I also put the post up at the American history blog Almost Chosen People that Paul Zummo and I run. Almost Chosen People is a fairly sedate blog, unlike the raucous The American Catholic, where controversy rarely occurs and on the rare occasions when it does, it is usually about the Civil War. I was therefore shocked when my light-hearted post aroused what for Almost Chosen People was a firestorm. Here are the comments: Continue reading
King Philip was there, wild and proud as he had been in life, with the great gash in his head that gave him his death wound.
Stephen Vincent Benet, The Devil and Daniel Webster
In his short story The Devil and Daniel Webster, Benet has Satan conjure up the damned souls of 12 villains from American history to serve as a jury in the case of Satan v. Jabez Stone. Only seven of these entities are named. This is the fifth in a series giving brief biographies of these men. Go here to read the biography of Simon Girty, here to read the “biography” of the Reverend John Smeet, here to read the biography of Major Walter Butler and here to read the biography of Thomas Morton. Our focus today is on King Philip.
Metacom, known to the white settlers as King Philip, was the second son of Massasoit, sachem of the Wampanoag, who had helped the Pilgrims survive during the first years of the colony. He became chief in 1662 when his brother Wamsutta, King Alexander, died. King Philip attempted to preserve peace with the whites. The Wampanoag were in a bad strategic situation, squeezed between ever-increasing white settlements in the East and an ever-expanding Iroquois Confederacy in the West. King Philip made major concessions to the whites, but war came anyway.
The great war of Seventeenth Century New England, King Philip’s War raged from 1675-1678 with the New England colonists, now numbering about 80,000, and their Mohican and Pequot allies confronting the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Podunk, Narragansett and Nashaway tribes. The war was savage on both sides, with quarter rarely given.
The conflict began due to the suspicions of the New England colonists that Metacomet, named by them King Philip, Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag Confederacy, was attempting to rally the Indian tribes of New England into a great alliance for war against the whites. John Sassamon, a Christian Indian, graduate of Harvard and an advisor to Metacomet, informed the Governor of Plymouth colony of this plan. Metacomet was brought to trial in Plymouth. Lacking evidence the court merely warned him that further rumors of plots by him could lead to severe consequences for the Wampanoag. Continue reading